Revisiting 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

Tennis furriends, I can’t believe it! The 2017 has officially come to a close. Now we wait until January 1, 2018 to see what the next season of drama has in store for us!

Since we are in between seasons, I thought this would be a pawsitively good time to revisit the new year’s resolutions I “wished” the players would make last year. This is a special post for me because it was my very first post I wrote for my blog back in January.

New Year’s Resolutions I Wish They Would Make

Let’s revisit, shall we…

Resolution #1:

Nick Kyrgios – I resolve to get my s*#@ together this year. I am way too awesome of a tennis talent to waste it on a poor attitude and weak effort. I mean, seriously….I could win a major this year if I put in the time.

Did he resolve this? – Nick definitely had some shining moments in 2017. He was the cat’s meow at the Laver Cup, but was plagued with injury much of the year. When a player is injured, it is hard to tell what kind of mind games they are playing. He seemed to be better than in 2016. Here’s hoping for a better 2018.

Resolution #2:

Jack Sock – I resolve to shave off my chin strap beard. It is weird and totally unnecessary. Think about how much better I would be if I spent more time practicing and less time trimming that thing.

Did he resolve this? – Unfortunately, no. He is still sporting that ridiculous chin strap beard, and managed to snag a girlfriend in the process. However, his game did greatly improve throughout the year and he ended the year ranked #8! I am still in Shock About Sock!

Resolution #3:

Milos Raonic – I resolve to relax and have fun. I’m talented and skilled on the court, and I finally got rid of that ridiculous compression sleeve. It’s time to loosen up and enjoy the game.

Did he resolve this? – Meoooow….it’s hard to tell. Milos was injured for most of the year. He really wasn’t even part of the 2017 narrative. A non-issue, if you will. Let’s see how he performs in 2018!

Resolution #4:

Nike – I resolve to change the color palette of the outfits I make the players wear. For the love of all things right in this world, I will…I promise. They’ve suffered enough.

Did they resolve this? – Yes and thank goodness! Good job Nike! Nike heard our pleas and saw our bleeding eyes and by the end of the year was producing some very nice tennis outfits! Adidas on the other hand…I’ve got my paw on you!

Resolution #5:

John Isner – I resolve to learn how to close out sets earlier and more efficiently. There is no reason to have to go to a tie break every single freaking match. Haven’t I learned from my Wimbledon experience? (and many other matches, for that matter)

Did he resolve this? Ummm…..nope!

Resolution #6:

Andre Agassi – I resolve to become a commentator for ESPN. (Pleeeeaassse) John McEnroe, we all love you, you know we do. But it’s time to scoot over and let the rest of us have a shot. My fans want to know what I have to say.

Did he resolve this? – Sadly, no! He did, however, sign on as a coach for a drifting Novak Djokovic. Novak has truly slid right off the tennis conscience this year, so it will be interesting to see if Agassi can pump some life into him. The jury is out…

So, good job Jack Sock and Nike! Nick Kyrios, you get an honorable mention for having a decent year. The rest of you…luckily we can always look to the new year for improvements.

Now that was a nice little cat walk down memory lane.

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Happy Thanksgiving from Frazier’s Racket

It’s that time of year here in the states…Thanksgiving! The one day a year when we gather with our furry four legged and not-so-furry two legged friends and family, eat lots  of turkey, casseroles and pies, and celebrate what we are thankful for!

Here are a few things I am thankful for this year:

1. I am thankful my human helped me start this tennis blog. I’ve been watching tennis my whole life, and now I can write about it too!

2. I am thankful that my human doesn’t let me get near the turkey, but she will let me have a taste!

Image:1Funny.com

3. I am thankful for the tennis greats, Rafa and Roger, who brought vintage tennis into this year’s story lines.

Image: sportskeeda.com

4. I am thankful for some new, exciting players like Denis Shapovalov, coming up in the ranks and making tennis unpredictable.

Image:CNN.com

5. I am thankful for my followers who read and comment on my blog each week. When I started this in January, I didn’t know how this would evolve, but I have some amazing followers!

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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There IS Crying In Tennis

If you have learned anything from reading my blog this past year, it has to be that I love a good cry! Tears of sorrow…not so much, but tears of joy are my favorite!

This past week was the ATP Men’s Finals in London, England. Only the top 8 players get invited to this tournament to compete in the final tournament of the year. It is a week-long tennis showcase of the best-of-the-best, and this year was set up to be the same. But there was a twist! Rafa Nadal retired and Roger got beat, so this left two unsuspecting finalists, David Goffin and Grigor Dimitrov. And with these unexpected finalists, comes unexpected moments!

Unexpected moment for David Goffin: David Goffin beats Rafa Nadal AND Roger Federer in the same tournament! That is a rare feat itself. Given Goffin’s freak-accident ankle injury that happened at the French Open that kept him in rehab for most of the year, this was incredible! The tears in his eyes after he beat Roger in the semifinals tells the story of how important that moment was to him.

Unexpected moment for Grigor Dimitrov: He wins the tournament! The moment Goffin approaches the net for a slice backhand volley but dumps the ball into the net, Dimitrov descends, face down on the court, in relief. He rests his head in his arm and cries a bit before getting up and shaking hands with Goffin at the net. It was truly a beautiful moment. You could see the years of hard work, perseverance, and determination all culminate in this one winning moment. After he shakes hands with Goffin and the chair umpire, he immediately makes a beeline to his players box where he is greeted by his mother’s outstretched arms to congratulate him. Again two people crying in each other’s arms. No one knows more than a parent, how much sacrifice has been made for this moment to happen. It was truly lovely.

Enjoy this highlight reel from the Finals!

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Tennis Is Art

All eyes are on London this week where the top 8 men’s players are competing at the Nitto ATP Finals. Rafa Nadal finished the year as world #1, however, he withdrew from the tournament Monday due to an ongoing knee injury. In comes first alternate, Pablo Carreno Busta!

Tonight’s match between Dominic Thiem and Pablo Carreno Busta was like watching Jackson Pollock create a masterpiece. It had all of the elements of Pollock’s abstract expressionistic style: chaos, power, unpredictability.

Chaos: For Pablo Carreno Busta, the occasion was huge and you could tell when you watched him step out on court. He was smiling, taking in the crowd, waving at the fans and enjoying the cheers. It was really a sweet moment. But his nerves got the best of him and he lost the first set 3-6.

Power: The amount of spin Dominic Thiem puts on his strokes plus the speed at which the ball travels makes it nearly impossible to play defensively against him, although Carreno Busta did a heck of a good job trying. He won the second set 6-3, and in the third set when they were tied 3-3, you could almost hear LL Cool J in Carreno Busta’s head singing “Don’t call it a comeback.”

Unpredictability: But alas, it was Dominic who was able to splash the last paint drop and win the match. The final score was 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

Will there be more masterpieces created this week as we finish up the first round of matches and move into the finals? Stay tuned to find out.

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Happy Meow-loween!

Happy meow-loween from Frazier’s Racket! May you all have a safe and happy night of trick or treating.

To celebrate this spooky holiday, here are some mysterious pics of cats playing tennis!

“No, please!! Wait! I’m not ready!”

Image: punjabigraphics.com

This guy is going to smash that tennis ball for a cross court winner!

Image: keywordsuggest.org

“It was definitely out, but let me stalk my way over to the line for a closer look!”

Image: telegraph.co.uk

This little guy know to keep her eye on the ball.

Image: lifewithcats.tv

Um, I think you need a racquet to hit the ball.

                                     Image: funnycatpictures.net

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The Gold Chain Epidemic

Cats, dogs, furry friends, and their humans…we are in a state of emergency. A tennis accessory emergency, that is! It’s the Gold Chain Epidemic and it has to be stopped!

What is it with these tennis players’ compulsion to stepping on the tennis court looking like Mr. T?

Image: gotceleb.com

Yes, I’m looking at you, Nick Kyrgios!

        Image: espn.go.com

In all fairness, I reached out to Nick through Twitter when he was hosting a #AskKygs last week to get down to the bottom of this. I want to see if there was any significance to his chains, but I didn’t get an answer. Currently, he wears three: a cross, a tennis racquet and a military dog tag. He didn’t answer, so until I hear from Nick himself, he’s the #1 gold chain offender.

Next up, Jack Sock.

I have been lamenting about Jack Sock’s chin strap beard for so long, it’s not surprising I have overlooked his chain gang! More subtle than Nick’s but no less unnecessary. Side note: Did you know there is a Chain Gang Jewelry page on Pintrest with close to 2,000 followers? I didn’t until I started doing my “research”.

And finally, Sascha Zverev.

Yep, I know he’s the next generation’s hope to make a move towards the top the rankings, but seriously. Look at all of those chains around his neck! If he’s not carefully, he could choke himself.

On a positive fashion spin, we can all thank our lucky stars that Dominic Thiem outgrew this particular phase, which included a terrible haircut with an equally offensive die job and these beachy beads.

What do you think? Do the chains bother you? Is there someone I left off the list? Am I being too harsh to these tennis stars? I would love to know!

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Tale of Two Dancers

Once upon a time there lived two young men who loved to dance. Dancing was in their blood, what they were born to do. They were considered the best male dancers this world has ever seen, each with their own unique style. Roger was elegant, graceful and executed fine finesse with each movement, and was the best danceur in all the land. That is French for a male ballet dancer…ballerino in Italian, if you will. Rafael on the other hand was strong, powerful, dominant on the dance floor…the best Flamenco bailaor in all of Spain. And yes, that is the correct term for the male dancer in Flamenco, which originated in Spain.

As time passed, the two dancers traveled the world over, swinging head to head, stepping toe to toe, at every competition under the sun for the illustrious title GOAT (greatest of all time). Time ticked on year after year, and each dancer became more dominant in their craft. But as one gets older, movement slows, injury creeps in, younger dancers are joining the party, and just when you think these two fine dancers are ready to exit the ballroom, there is a renaissance! An explosion of talent, will and hunger that both dancers possess, simultaneously saying “The lights aren’t out! The party is not over. This is not my final dance.”

A rebirth of their talents is exactly what happened to Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal this year. At the conclusion of last year, the tennis world was embracing Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka. Roger and Rafa were in the conversation, but simply as sentimental favorites. They already made their mark and were in the process of making graceful exits. But in January, the Australian Open proved to tell a different story. The finalists were Roger and Rafa, with Roger winning. The French Open was Rafa’s red clay playground, where Wimbledon was Roger’s grass park. Then of course to bring a lovely balance between this dance, Rafa wins the US Open.

This past weekend, Roger played a flawless game against Rafa to win the Shanghai Masters title and to be the Rolex King. However, Rafa is still ranked #1 with Roger trailing him by around 2000 points. Will Roger be able to catch him before the ATP finals this November? I don’t know. But I do know it has been a fun and interesting year for tennis watching these two reclaim their dominance on the tennis dance floor.

Image: shanghairolexmasters.com

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